COLLECTIONS P.M. TRETYAKOVA
Mikhail Zakharovich Tretyakov, the father of the Tretyakov brothers, the founders of the Tretyakov Gallery, came from a poor merchant family. In his spiritual testament, shortly before his death, he wrote: “Since the image of the trade in my sons is known to me, I hope that they will follow all my rules that I tried to inspire in them.” His sons elder Pavel (1832-1898) and the younger Sergey (1834-1892) continued the work of his father. From the various trade in the shops (linen, bread, firewood) in the Old Gostiny Dvor they very soon turned to serious entrepreneurship.
Since 1860, the Tretyakovs owned a shop that was located in Moscow in Kitaygorodsky district opposite the Stock Exchange on Ilyinka Street – “a wide shiny street of capitalists and bankers”, where they sold both Russian and foreign goods, mainly fabrics. Since the mid 1860s. they owned the Novo-Kostroma Linen Manufacture. And by the end of the nineteenth century, they occupied one of the first places in Russia among manufacturers. The Tretyakovs owned apartment houses in Moscow and Kostroma and large land plots in the Kostroma province. Their condition was extracted by labor, and you cannot call it light. Nevertheless, they were among the largest donors in Moscow and in Russia.
Pavel and Sergey Tretyakov, like many representatives of the third estate, were actively involved in charitable activities. Wealth implied responsibility and required a report. The “corrupting force” of money was sent to good deeds. Over time, charity becomes a class voluntary duty, a feature of the commercial and industrial environment, an important sign of the times. P.M.Tretyakov since 1863 becomes a trustee at the “institution for deaf-and-dumb children” (later the Arnold School). The amounts of donations of PM Tretyakov grew from year to year, sometimes they overlapped the costs of buying paintings. Among the “irregular” and various donations I would like to mention: financial assistance in the research expedition of N.N. Miklukho-Maklaya in the South Seas in 1876-1877, material support in the 1880s. the construction of the Resurrection Temple in Tokyo (Japan) and much more.
Large donations were rarely made during the life of the donor, as a rule, they were made under a spiritual will. The Tretyakov brothers were acquainted with each other’s wills. The question of merging collections and donating it to the city of Moscow was resolved long before the immediate transfer. The sudden death of Sergei’s younger brother accelerated the union of the collections of the Tretyakov brothers and the transfer of the gallery to the city’s property in 1892. In this sense, Pavel Mikhailovich Tretyakov’s lifetime gift is a rare exception. He became the trustee of the Moscow City Art Gallery of the brothers Pavel and Sergei Tretyakov, continuing to expand the collection until the last days of his life. At the time of the death of P.M. Tretyakov, the collection of Pavel and Sergey Tretyakov according to the catalog in 1898 consisted of more than 3,300 works.
The union of Pavel and Sergei Tretyakov, can rightfully be called ideal, this happens in history extremely rarely. “It is not often that the names of two brothers are so closely related to each other. During life, they were united by true kindred love and friendship. In eternity, they live as creators of the Pavel and Sergei Tretyakov Gallery, ”wrote the historian of the Moscow merchants P.A.Burishkin. The Tretyakov brothers were impeccable business partners, they were connected not only by a common cause (in the ORG of the State Tretyakov Gallery there are about 200 letters of Sergei to Pavel), they had the same interests, they managed to maintain respect and trust for each other until the end of their days. When the name of one of the brothers sounded, the other was invisibly present. After going through life together, as they say “hand in hand”, each of them left his mark in the history of Russian artistic culture and the history of his native city.
S.M.Tretyakov was more active than his elder brother, he was part of the social and political life of the city, rotated in government circles, participated as a member of the Moscow City Duma in many bills, was the Moscow mayor, etc. He began to collect later than his brother – in the early 1870s, mainly interested in modern Western painting, especially French, which was valued more than the works of the Russian school. His collection, not so numerous (there were 84 works of painting and graphics), was in a mansion on Prechistensky Boulevard and was open only to friends and “on recommendation”. He was attracted by such eminent artists as Corot, Daubigny, Courbet, Bastien-Lepage, Millet, Fortuny, Knaus and many others. others (most of the paintings today are stored in the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts). Sergei Tretyakov, in the words of I.E. Grabar, created a “unique of its kind” gallery of Western European art, which became a kind of pilgrimage site for lovers of Western art.Pavel Mikhailovich, unlike his younger brother Sergei Mikhailovich, consciously devoted himself to the creation of a museum of Russian art. The expanding collection constantly demanded an increase in the exposition space: the halls attached to the apartment building, and the house turned into a gallery; since 1874 the gallery has been open to a wide circle of acquaintances, since 1881 it has been open to the public. It is noteworthy that, until the beginning of the 1880s, Pavel Tretyakov was known to a wide audience as “the brother of our Moscow mayor”, i.e. Sergey Mikhailovich. Later his name, according to Repin, was recognized by the entire educated world. ”
The first purchases of the young Pavel Tretyakov made in the 1850s. at Sukharevsky market, first showing interest in old prints, books, small Dutch genre paintings. Soon he acquired nine works by lesser-known Western artists. “The first two or three mistakes in such a difficult task as determining the authenticity of old paintings, forever turned it away from the gathering of old masters,” wrote I.S. – the late would say.
In the years of the formation of Tretyakov, the personalities of Moscow merchants and Slavophiles turned out to be close. Moscow since the 1850s becomes the focus of the movement for the revival of national culture, the keeper of traditions, showing an example of Russian identity. At the same time, Moscow is the capital of Russian merchants, mastering new spheres of life: economy, trade, education, construction, charity, including introducing the achievements of European culture. These two most important vectors of development, fortunately, did not become mutually exclusive, but, on the contrary, complementary. The “Professorial and Merchant” coalition is a characteristic feature of Moscow’s life in the 1850s. – subsequently turned into a phenomenon of all-Russian scale, which determined the originality of the national culture of the second half of the XIX – beginning of the XX century. If in the 1850s I.F. Mamontov (father of Savva Mamontov) is closely associated with the leaders of Slavophilism – S.T. Aksakov, F.V. Chizhov, M.Pogodin, with the “economic Slavophile” V.A. decades in the next generation which became the largest merchant families of the Mamontovs, Morozovs, Ryabushinsky continued the line of revival of the national tradition. It should be noted at the same time, recently in historical science there has been an overcoming of the antithesis “Westernism – Slavophilism”. On the contrary, their joint efforts – researchers now believe – have determined the uniqueness of national Russian culture and Russian thought in the European series.
In line with these processes – the birth of Tretyakov’s intention to create a museum of national art. Of course, Tretyakov was not the first in this field. The initial collections devoted to Russian art were the collection of P.P.Svin’in, which existed not for long, and the meeting of State Councilor F.Pryanishnikov, sold by the owner to the state and formed the basis of the Moscow Rumyantsev Museum. The acquaintance of Tretyakov in 1854 in Petersburg with the collection of the latter is usually regarded as one of the important impulses on the way to the creation of the gallery.